Government of Canada investment of more than $15 million supports tourism recovery in southwestern Ontario

180 projects supported to improve recreational facilities, parks, and trails to attract visitors to the region

May 25, 2023 -Windsor, Ont.

In southwestern Ontario, tourist attractions and destinations such as wineries, lakefronts, and national parks play a vital role in the region’s economy and cultural identity, promoting the region’s unique heritage and natural beauty. The Government of Canada understands the importance of the tourism sector and is committed to supporting communities as they build a strong future from coast to coast.

During Economic Development Week, we highlight the significant investments that have been made across Ontario to support the tourism industry. Between 2022 and 2023, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) delivered almost $140 million through the Tourism Aid Fund (TRF) to help tourism-oriented businesses and organizations throughout Southern Ontario to recover from the impacts of the pandemic and safely welcome visitors.

As part of this investment, more than $18.4 million was awarded to 180 tourism businesses and organizations in Southwestern Ontario, providing memorable visitor experiences and positioning the region for success.

For example, the Caldwell First Nation received a $500,000 contribution to revitalize its Aboriginal-owned marina in Leamington on Lake Erie, 2 miles from Point Pelee National Park. The marina is a hub for sport fishing, community events, canoe trips to Sturgeon Creek, and adventures on the adjacent conservation boardwalk. The project supported the expansion of the marina, creating an enhanced fishing and tourism destination for visitors seeking to connect with nature and learn about the cultural significance of local flora and fauna.

TRF’s support also made a difference in the Bright community, where Udderly ridiculousa local goat farm and tourist destination, was able to enhance the farm visitor experience with renovations to its facility, upgrading its heating and cooling systems, and creating new outdoor dining areas.

Also with this support from the Government of Canada, Southwestern Ontario Tourism Corporation (RTO 1) provided non-reimbursable contributions of up to $100,000 to businesses and tourism organizations in the region.

This includes $100,000 for the Essex County Negro Historical Research Society to revive downtown Windsor through the creation of interactive public art and murals that share Windsor’s African-Canadian history. As part of this project, the organization also worked in partnership with Bird Canada and WindsorEats to coordinate a series of cultural and artistic scooter and bike touring experiences along the McDougall Street Corridor, to engage visitors with inclusive, equitable, and various.

These investments have been crucial in helping local businesses and organizations welcome more visitors and build stronger, more vibrant communities.

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